Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Original Production Animation Cel of Pinocchio and Figaro from "Pinocchio," 1940

Original hand painted and hand inked production animation cel of Pinocchio and Figaro from "Pinocchio," 1940, Walt Disney Studios; Set over a Courvoisier air brush background; With original Courvoisier Galleries label; Size - Pinocchio & Figaro: 5 x 5 1/4", Image 7 1/4 x 7", Frame 14 3/4 x 14"; Framed with original Courvoisier calligraphy titled mat, gold wood frame, and plexiglass.

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"Pinocchio," 1940 was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, and followed on the success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." 1937. It was released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 23, 1940 and was based on the Italian children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi. The general plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto, who carves a wooden puppet that he names Pinocchio. One night the puppet is brought to life by the Blue Fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish". Pinocchio's journey to become a real boy is challenged by his encounters with an array of scrupulous characters.

"Pinocchio" became the first animated feature to win an Academy Award; it won for both Best Music - Original Score and for Best Music - Original Song for "When You Wish Upon A Star." Most critics and audiences agree that "Pinocchio" is among the finest Disney features ever made, and one of the greatest animated films of all time. In 1994, it was added to the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Close up of the original Courvoisier calligraphy titled mat.

Due to the huge success of "Snow White," Walt Disney wanted more famous voice actors for "Pinocchio." He cast popular singer Cliff Edwards (who had made the first record selling over a million copies) as Jiminy Cricket. Disney also wanted the character of Pinocchio to be voiced by a real child. The role ended up going to twelve year old actor Dickie Jones, who had previously been in Frank Capra's enormous Hollywood hit, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

Original Courvoisier Galleries label.

Animation began in September 1938 and just as in "Snow White," live-action footage was shot for "Pinocchio" with the actors playing the scenes; which was supervised by Hamilton Luske. The animators then used the footage as a guide for their animation drawings by studying the human movement and then incorporating many of those poses and scenes. The title character was animated by Milt Kahl (initial design), Frank Thomas, and Ollie Johnston. "When I was doing Pinocchio," Johnston said, "I thought of the character being real, a living person, not a drawing."

Figaro is Geppetto's pet Tuxedo Cat and was Walt Disney's favorite character in the film. He loved the kitten so much, he wanted him to appear in as many scenes as possible. Once production on "Pinocchio" was completed; Walt made him Minnie Mouse's pet, replacing her dog Fifi. Figaro was also given his own series of cartoon shorts, as well as costarring in other cartoon shorts with Pluto.

Framed original production animation cel of Pinocchio and Figaro.

The master Walt Disney animator Eric Larson was in charge of animating Figaro, and based the kitten's design on the childlike personality of his own nephew. The famous character actor Mel Blanc (known as "The Man of Thousand Voices") provided the voice of Figaro.

This is a beautiful cel setup consisting of full figure images of both Pinocchio and Figaro placed on a Courvoisier air brush background. Pinocchio is eyes and mouth open, smiling, and holding his school book and a bright red apple for his teacher; that were given to him by Geppetto. Figaro is full figure and keeping his eyes on the apple. The work has been framed, is a fantastic piece of animation history, and a great addition to any art collection!